[Editor] For crying out loud. Two weeks later, and I finally notice the title of my post was 20 years off! Its the 40th anniversary, not the 20th. Sheesh! [/Editor] It’s hard to believe that such a tremendously historic scientific and cultural event is celebrating its 20th Anniversary this month! On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 astronauts “Buzz” Aldrin and Neil Armstrong became the first humans to set foot on the Moon. [Astronaut Edwin E. Aldrin near a leg of the Lunar Module. (From enwiki), NASA Source]
One of the first featured articles I published on GeoPrac was a remarkable narrative by my NCS Consultants, LLC colleague, Dr. Ed Nowatzki, sharing his recollections of his work on the geotechnical (soils engineering)aspects of the design of the first lunar lander or LM. I was doubly reminded of his article recently, first because of the milestone anniversary, but also because a different spacecraft was having some soil-related trouble on the Planet Mars.
Most people are aware that Apollo 11 was the NASA where man first set foot on the Moon. But before they could set foot on it, they had to set the landing pads of the LM there! How did they come up with geotechnical soil parameters for the design of the LM’s footpads? How did they determine a bearing capacity of lunar soil? Click through for this facinating article that I hope you will share with your colleagues.